Were you to park a ’14 Chevy Malibu next to a ’56 Bel Air and open the hoods of each, the contrast would be remarkable. The Malibu’s short, wide engine bay is so full of plastic covers, tubes, hoses, wires, bottles and other equipment that the car’s four-cylinder engine is barely visible—if at all. The Bel Air’s Turbo-Fire V8, on the other hand, stands out in the ’56 Chevy’s spacious engine compartment, covered in bright orange paint and hooked to a canister air cleaner, a couple of radiator hoses and little else. Ask any shadetree mechanic why he prefers to work on old collector cars over today’s computer- and emissions-controlled vehicles and the answer usually comes down to: “They were so much simpler then.”
Describe yourself in your own words. My name is Nicholas Gramelspacher, and I am vice president, sales and marketing, at Meyer Distributing, and a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. I have a wife, April, and son, Ajay.
What type of education do you have? I have a degree in business management.
Did you choose the aftermarket or did the aftermarket choose you? I chose the aftermarket-I was tinkering on and fixing up trucks in early high school and fell in love with it. We have a family business in the furniture industry, but I wanted to plow my own path to do what I love and love what I do: cars, trucks and Jeeps. That, along with working for a great company like Meyer, which has had tremendous growth, and having a hardworking team made it a great decision 16 years ago.
What has your career path looked like? I started with Meyer in the shipping department and worked there for about six months before moving into sales. We were a single location, 25,000-sq.-ft. company back then, selling about 40 lines.
For decades now, SEMA members have expressed concern about the aging of the automotive specialty segment and the number of young enthusiasts entering the marketplace and our workforce. Addressing those concerns, SEMA has developed a number of initiatives, many of which have matured and grown. There has been expansion of the SEMA Young Executive Network (YEN), now 1,300 strong; development of a robust student program that brings 500-plus automotive students to the SEMA Show each year; and substantial support of other productive youth-oriented automotive programs, such as Hot Rodders of Tomorrow.
Westgate Resorts has acquired the LVH–Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, making the property the newest addition to the Westgate’s portfolio of 28 resorts. The hotel has been renamed Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The new Westgate is located one block off the Las Vegas Strip, adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and is one of seven stations on the Las Vegas Monorail.
Facilitators of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge have introduced a new dual championship format so that qualifying teams will face off at one of the two top industry trade shows—SEMA or PRI. The top two teams from the SEMA Show in November will take on the top two teams from PRI in December in the finale to crown the 2014 Engine Challenge Champion.Hot Rodders of Tomorrow is a nonprofit organization that hosts nationwide Engine Challenges, where high-school teams compete against each other in complete engine rebuilds. All of the teams work hard to complete the regular season to reach the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Championship.
In order to land on our “35 Under 35” list, individuals must first be nominated by one or more industry peers. Pouring through the nominations, SEMA News looks for candidates already displaying leadership qualities within their organization or business. Entrepreneurship, commitment, insight, innovation, integrity, responsibility, and demonstrated skill, involvement and success within the industry weigh heavily in our decision-making. The selection process is never easy—in one way or another, every nominee is a winner—but, ultimately, we reduce the nominations down to 35 finalists to make our special section. When all was said and done for this 2014 edition, we again found ourselves with an impressive roster of highly accomplished individuals making their marks at a young age in a diverse array of industry segments.
The SEMA Show Online Media Center is now available for exhibiting companies to submit show-related press releases to be included on the SEMA Show website, used in association publications and promoted to media attendees. The Online Media Center was designed specifically for journalists to find Show-related news and announcements. With more than 3,000 media in attendance, exhibiting companies will benefit by spotlighting their newest and most innovative products to direct media attention to their booths.